The 2018/2019 flu season recommendations released

Members of ACIP also stated new guidelines for use of the anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA; BioThrax0 for post-exposure prophylaxis.

The group also offered additional updates on zoster and pneumococcal vaccines, HPV, mumps, AAFP. This is according to ACIP Pamela Rockwell, D.O, from Ann Arbor, Mich.,

Influenza Vaccine

The ACIP also reaffirmed the vote taken at its last  meeting that was held in the month of February this year to official issue its recommendation that all patients whose ages were 6 months and above without any contradiction should be vaccinated with influenza vaccine during the influenza season of the year 2018-19; and clinicians should play the role of administering any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine, without excluding LAIV ( for patients whose ages fall between 2 to 49 years old and without contradictions), recombinant influenza vaccine and  inactivated influenza vaccine.

For the 2016-17 and 2017-18 flu seasons, the ACIP had issued a recommendation that opposed the use of LAIV. The recommendation was based on the reason that the vaccine’s influenza A (H1N1) component was not able to protect people against that influenza strain.

After the February meeting that was held by ACIP, Rockwell said that the influenza A (H1N1) components had been replaced with a more effective component for the upcoming flu season. The replacement was done by the FluMist manufacturer MedImmune, which is a subsidiary of AstraZeneca.

In the meeting that was held in the last week, members of ACIP made an announcement that an influenza sub-working group for maternal influenza vaccine had already been created and met for the first time in the month of April.

Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) finally presented data regarding its Fluariz Quadrivalent Vaccine. In the month of January, GSK’s application to extend the vaccine’s age range with the aim of including children whose ages fall between 6 to 35 months was approved by the FDA.

Anthrax Vaccine

Next up, there was unanimous voting by the ACIP in order to approve new guidelines for using AVA for post-exposure prophylaxis should an anthrax bioweapon be made use of in a mass event. If availability issues for AVA arise, the new guidance specifically addresses what to do in such situations.

The AVA routine recommendation for pre-exposure prophylaxis is five doses given at different periods, i.e. at zero, one, six 12 and 18 months subcutaneously. This should be followed by an annual booster. There is also a three-dose series post- exposure AVA recommendation that it should be given at zero, three, two and four weeks subcutaneously together with co-administration of antibiotics for a period of 60 days.

Potential alterations in the route of administration and a shortened course of antibiotics together with dosing changes for the vaccine are offered by the newly proposed guidelines, e.g. the use of intramuscular route.